April 23, 2014
A reason for letting people associate as they choose is that, while groups naturally do not like each other, they overlap in curious ways. Left to themselves, people sort these matters out like water reaching its level. When I lived in Washington I used to spend afternoons over a Bass and several of its friends at the Cafe Asia, on Wilson Boulevard just across Key Bridge into Virginia. The Asia was then staffed by Asian girls”Malays, Chinese, Vietnamese, and a lovely Japanese woman who managed it. The clientele ran to young white professionals.
The unanimous opinion that the white men had of these women was highly favorable. Why? Well, the young ladies”they were ladies”were sleek, pretty, classy, never toilet-mouthed, and smart. Smart: One was doing graduate work in computer security, another was a wide area network engineer, a third had been unable to find work after a master’s in biochem, and so was in dental school.
Here we have an example of people, being left alone, deciding for themselves who to hang out with. The young white professionals had decided, probably not consciously, that the Asian women had enough in common with us, and enough not in common but appealing, that we really enjoyed them.
Where is the fly in this ointment? I suppose we were racists, as we were assuredly discriminating racially: We thought Malays pretty. The horror. No doubt we were sinners all.
Today, of course, we are federally admonished not to choose our own friends and neighbors as if our lives were our own business. No. Instead we must follow the social directives of the Potomac Soviet, whether anyone wants to or not. Few do. In Washington, on the Hill, upper Connecticut, the inner suburbs, the outer suburbs, everywhere, clubs and restaurants are either almost perfectly white or perfectly black. Whites happily patronize Latin American restaurants intended for the general trade, yet in mini-barrios many venues tacitly are for browns only. So what? It is how people want it. If freedom of association is racism, I am for it.